The Union flag flew above Belfast City Hall every day of the year until 3rd December 2012 when politicians democratically voted to fly it on 18 designated days. The Confederation of British Industry said the ensuing riots have cost local businesses £10-£15 million in lost revenue.

Union flagThe Union flag, representing Northern Ireland

Irish flagThe Irish tricolour, representing the Republic of Ireland

Some political commentators have suggested that one way to diffuse the situation might be the creation of a new flag for Northern Ireland. The country hasn't had its own flag since the Ulster banner was used by the old Northern Ireland Government between 1953 and 1972.

Ulster bannerThe Ulster banner

There's the older St. Patrick's Saltire, said to pre-date the tricolour by 150 years. It's been flown at the Edinburgh Tattoo to designate Northern Ireland, seen as less contentious than the Ulster banner.

St Patrick's SaltireSt. Patrick's Saltire

So here's my idea.

Northern Ireland flagNorthern Ireland flag

Hardly innovative, but it doesn’t need to be.

Northern Ireland's footballers play in green and white. So does Ireland's rugby team (with players from both sides of the border). No need to use blue and red.

Turns out there's an NI Flag Facebook Group that's been going for a while.